Having spent Thursday evening in the good company of Lou Audette as well at his wonderful house in New Haven, I met up with my son Jaimie for lunch before my afternoon gig in Madison. He’s recovering from his wrist and arm surgery from the day before, so we headed to a Milford diner to catch up, talk baseball. All good stuff.
I made it to the Madison Green for my first Madison Farmers’ Market this season and ran into some folks who knew me from my concerts down at the East Wharf, perhaps 4 or 5 years ago. It was nice to make that connection immediately with familiar faces, especially after leaving CT on uncertain terms three years ago.
This is a pretty idyllic site, a big, open New England town green, lots of grass and some big trees. It’s a well established farmers’ market with a good number of quality vendors, as befits a well-to-do town like Madison. So I settled in for another three hour set of tunes. As I do with other gigs like this, I set up amongst the vendors, without a sound system. I try to make myself part of the flow, engage folks as they stroll by, play for the kids and families and hope folks toss a buck or two in the ole mandolin case (and, if very lucky, make a CD sale).
Some families stopped by with blankets, let the kids join in and take in the situation. I love it. But, again, no CD sales, and only a buck from almost all the folks, perhaps two from a family that I had engaged or perhaps an elder woman or gentleman who appreciated what I was doing with the kids. But, to the many people from this affluent community, not a thought about the artisan nature of what I am doing. Not much different from inner city Allentown, with business folks cruising right by past live, handmade music.
I scratch my head about this culture and its support of home-grown and live arts in their midst. Again, I don’t do this for the riches – I do it for the experience, the opportunity to connect with people with my music and my stage craft and to exercise my repertoire.
This is all balanced out with the picking party at Ron’s later tonight.